AP Photo/Blue Star Line
Mining tycoon Clive Palmer has announced plans to build a near-exact replica of the Titanic, the ocean liner that famously sank on its maiden voyage in 1912, and will launch the ship in 2016, with a route that recreates that of the original. However, Palmer and designer Markku Kanerva insist this time, their vessel will make it safely to port.
Palmer is charging a cool $1 million for a first-class cabin for the new Titanic's first journey (that includes a wardrobe of period costumes for each guest), and he says 40,000 people have already put in requests for spots on the ship, which will hold 2,435 passengers.
Like on the original Titanic, the passengers will be strictly segregated by class; no word yet on how much it will cost to suffer in steerage. It also remains to be seen if they'll allow passengers to stand before the front mast railing and pretend to fly.
While Palmer and Kanerva insist the ship will be as close to the original as possible -- which means no television or wi-fi on board -- there will be air conditioning, and a landing pad for a helicopter.
And this time around, there will be a full compliment of lifeboats, enough to hold 2,700 people, with additional life rafts that can carry 800 more.
While the original Titanic was billed as the ship that was impossible to sink, Palmer isn't being quite so cocky. "Anything will sink if you put a hole in it," Palmer said in a press conference. "I think it would be very cavalier to say it. I think people in the past have done that and lived to regret it." However, designer Kanerva insists, "I can assure you, from the safety point of view, it will be absolutely the most safe cruise ship in the world when it is launched." And Palmer added that global warming is on their side when it comes to safety: "There are not so many icebergs in the North Atlantic these days."
- Markku Kanerva